Sky View Drive-In

1200 Old Route 66 N,
Litchfield, IL 62056

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Dave Lounder THE DRIVE-IN THEATRE PRESERVATION SOCIETY on May 9, 2022 at 10:21 pm

Going to run it indefinitely, then getting out with essentially no explanation why, and asking 420k? Seems awfully cheap. Also, these half-dozen year owners tried to change the name from Sky View to Skyview. No, no, no, no, no. Leave Drive-Ins' names alone.

MichaelKilgore on May 18, 2021 at 5:13 pm

I visited the Sky View last Saturday and noticed a couple of things.

First, the drive-in is for sale. Despite the Pastrovich families' five-year-old quote (see above) that they “plan to run it as a drive-in indefinitely,” they are now looking to sell it to “new caretakers”. If you’ve got a spare $420,000, that could be you. Route66News noted the listing on May 2. The families' press release is on the Illinois Route 66 site. Note that the press release calls it the “Skyview” as one word, though the historic marker in front is unchanged.

Second, I drove the post-1940 alignment of Route 66 and missed the Sky View. It turns out that this drive-in was never on the Mother Road when it was active; it’s on a road that was Route 66 only until 1940. For all of the Sky View’s life, it has been one block east of 66.

MichaelKilgore on August 26, 2019 at 1:55 pm

It appears that the Sky View’s original screen tower was destroyed (or fatally damaged) by a tornado on Aug. 10, 1974. The National Weather Service described it as follows: “Tornado first observed 2.5 miles S of Litchfield and moved NE approximately 2.75 miles. Observers described the funnel as 50-100 feet wide, 500-800 feet long, white to grayish white and debris apparently corn stalks. At 1:49 pm, the tornado touched down E of U.S. Highway 66 destroying a brick garage, a chicken house, uprooted a tree while passing through a cemetery, and blew lawn chairs and tree limbs into a house.”

That would account for the large screen tower’s presence in a 1973 aerial photo but its skinny replacement by 1993. The only odd thing about the description is that I’d think it would mention something big such as a 50-foot screen tower getting hurt that badly.

MichaelKilgore on June 7, 2019 at 7:20 pm

Many more details, including yet another opening date and the nigh-immediate renaming, in the July 1, 1950 issue of BoxOffice:

LITCHFIELD, ILL. – Russell Hogue, who came to Litchfield from St. Charles, Mo., to manage the Frisina Amusement Co. properties here, will manage the new Sky-View Drive-In, which is scheduled to open this week, as well as the Ritz and Capitol theatres. The big drive-in accommodates 507 cars, compared with 535 cars at Taylorville, 410 at Effingham and 400 at Robinson, Ill. The other drive-ins are operated by the Frisina company, which headquarters in Springfield, Ill.

…The Sky-View covers 16 acres and fronts on old Route 66 just north of the Ferndon street road. Simplex projectors were installed by the St. Louis branch of National Theatre Supply. The screen tower measures 55x65 feet, while the screen itself is 42x52 feet. Films will be projected from a building 265 feet from the screen. Two lighted pylons extending to the top of the screen tower carry the Sky-View in neon lights over large block cutout letters.

The snack bar is located in the same building as the projection booth but a four-foot breezeway separates the two rooms. The entire building is of concrete blocks faced in white cement. Interior color scheme is white, trimmed with green and yellow. All types of food and soft drinks will be sold.

The opening of the Sky-View has been delayed form week to week by inclement weather.

MichaelKilgore on June 7, 2019 at 1:43 pm

The May 20, 1950 issue of BoxOffice reported that the 750-car, $100,000 Litchfield Drive-In had been opened by Frisina Amusement Co. But the June 24, 1950 issue nailed down a date of June 22, matching Walter “Chick” Bishop’s story.

LITCHFIELD, ILL. – The 750-car Litchfield Drive-In of the Frisina Amusement Co. on Route 66 opened Thursday (22). Equipment for the drive-in was furnished by National Theatre Supply.

dansdriveintheater on November 5, 2018 at 1:38 pm

i know but it says that it is the only drive-in operating on the whole of route 66 not true. don’t forget about the route 66 drive-in in Missouri or the admiral twin drive-in

Norman Plant
Norman Plant on February 21, 2018 at 7:27 pm

The 66 Drive-In in Springfield was demolished back in the ‘80’s. The Route 66 Drive-In in Springfield is the former Green Meadows Drive-In that was dormant for many years by Knights Action Park and reopened. It is not located on the former Route 66 as it goes through Springfield. The Sky View in Litchfield is the only active Drive-In on Route 66 through Illinois.

davidcoppock on February 19, 2018 at 10:36 am

It is not the only operating drive-in in Illinois on Route 66, the 66 Drive-in in Springfield, Illinois has reopened.

davidcoppock on June 29, 2017 at 12:49 pm

Whats the Pig Hip?

MichaelKilgore on June 29, 2017 at 11:27 am

Since March 2016, the Skyview is now owned by two husband-and-wife teams — Nick and Mindy Pastrovich, plus Mike and Debbie Pastrovich. “We plan to run it as a drive-in indefinitely,” Mindy said. That’s the story in Route 66 News.

MichaelKilgore on June 29, 2017 at 11:24 am

The 1949-50 Theatre Catalog lists the Litchfield Dr., run by Frisina Amuse. Ct., capacity 750. By the 1952 Catalog, it had changed to the Skyview, capacity 400.

In a Illinois Route 66 video, local historian(?) Walter “Chick” Bishop says the Skyview opened in June 1950. He sounds pretty sure about that.

bbrown1 on July 7, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Below is link to article (with a nice photo) about recent trip to the Sky View by St Louis Post Dispatch entertainment editor Joe Williams

View link

route66sue on July 20, 2009 at 8:34 pm

ken mc…yes the Pig Hip did burn down and is now completely gone.

kencmcintyre on November 9, 2007 at 7:43 pm

The marquee seen on this site should be the Sky View. I actually went to the Pig Hip in July 2006 and met the very personable owner. I understand that the Pig Hip was lost in a fire sometime this year.

JeffCarlson on January 7, 2007 at 6:24 pm

This is a great little drive-in that is taken care of quite well. The concession stand is probably one of the best I’ve ever been to. If memory serves they also employ a modern FM broadcast system.

sawblade5 on December 24, 2005 at 2:19 pm

When ever I am in the St. Louis area visiting my sister, this drive-in is one of my main stops on my visit. It is a fun little Drive-In with fairly new movies (the movies I have seen there are about 4 weeks old but not dollar house age yet). The cheap ticket price to get in makes this one a big draw and you would want to get there early to get the best spot and to get your concessions before the movie begins. At the beginning of the Movie they show a 10-Minute Intermission Reel with the Food Circus (this is the same intermission trailer they show at the Boulevard Drive-In in Kansas City). In closing you wouldn’t want to miss this Drive-In if your in the St. Louis or Springfield, IL area.

TomC on December 8, 2003 at 10:50 am

The 66 Drive In Theater in Carthage, Missouri is also along Historic Route 66.

CARTHAGE, MISSOURI 64836 – 417-359-5959